Empowering young people who experienced domestic violence and abuse : The development of a group therapy intervention

This article describes the development of a group-based therapeutic intervention for young people (YP) who have lived with domestic violence and abuse. The intervention was informed by interviews with 107 YP, focused on their experiences of coping, resilience and agency. The intervention draws on resources from systemic, creative and narrative approaches to group work, and aims to facilitate YP’s expression of distress in a way that recognizes that it is embodied, contextual and relational. 

The intervention also explores YP’s existing strategies for coping and maintaining a sense of agency, and works to harness, enhance and further develop those skills. We report on the pilot of this intervention, and its development and application across four European countries (the United Kingdom, Greece, Italy and Spain). We outline the goals, strengths and limitations of this group intervention, as well as the main challenges, hindrances and ethical dilemmas experienced by the research and intervention team. Implications for therapeutic practice and training are addressed.

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Lisa C Fellin, Jane E M Callaghan, Joanne H Alexander, Claire Harrison-Breed, Stavroula Mavrou and Maria Papathanasiou | 2019
In: Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, ISSN 1359-1045 ; eISSN 1461-7021 | 24 | 1 | 170–189
Adolescents, Child Abuse, Coping Behavior, Family Violence, Group Psychotherapy, Interventions